West Virginia University’s Bob Huggins announced Wednesday that he will continue his job as head coach of West Virginia’s men’s basketball, but will miss three games after using gay slurs twice in interviews and mocking Catholics. Cincinnati radio station this week.
The university announced that it would review Huggins’ contract and cut his annual salary from $4.15 million to $1 million. He will have to undergo sensitivity training and will miss his first three games of the 2023-24 season.
in a joint statementthe university’s president and athletic director said Huggins, the winningest active coach in Division I men’s basketball, would be fired immediately if he made similar offensive comments in the future.
In an interview Monday on Cincinnati radio station 700 WLW, Huggins used homophobic slurs to describe fans of the Jesuit organization Xavier University and emphasize the school’s religious affiliation. While discussing his 16-season tenure at the University of Cincinnati and his intra-city rivalry with Xavier, Huggins responded to “throwing his rubber penis on the floor and then saying he didn’t.” In reference to this, he directed homophobic slurs at Xavier’s fans twice. Do it. “
Huggins, 69, issued an apology as part of the university’s statement, saying he deeply regrets his comments and the hurt they caused.
“There is no excuse for the language I used and I take full responsibility,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “I will follow the actions outlined by my university and track and field coaches in order to learn from this incident. I feel the pain I caused.”
Aside from the salary cut, Huggins will also make a personal donation to Xavier to support the Center for Faith and Justice and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, although the amount of the donation was not specified. You will also be asked to meet with LGBTQ leaders statewide.
In August 2021, Huggins signed a contract extension through the 2023-24 season, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball. According to his previous contract, Huggins would have had the option to “or extend his relationship” with the university until June 2027. April 30, 2024.
The $1 million deducted from Huggins’ salary will be used to support the university’s LGBTQ center, mental health counseling center and other organizations, according to a statement from the university.
“The University has never and will never condone the language used on Monday, but we will take this opportunity to remind you that the casual use of inflammatory language and implicit prejudices are part of our culture, We will educate them about how they impact communities, health and well-being,” the statement said. Said.
Huggins has been a coach in West Virginia since 2007. He will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in his 2022 season and is one of only six men’s coaches to have achieved his 900 wins in Division I.